Experience The Luxuries of France During Your Vacation
Get acquainted with the rituals of everyday life if you want to experience the modern French culture, and luxuriate in its pleasures. Here are a few things you can participate in easily.
Café is among the basic necessities of French life; others being water, air, and wine. Whether you feel like indulging in luxury at renowned spots like the DeuxMagots, or enjoy the simplicity of a tiny corner café in Marseilles or Lyon, France has it all. The cafés on the major boulevards of Paris, such as the Champs-Élysées or the Boulevard Saint-Michel are the most expensive, but at the same time the least exciting.
If you want to get a sense of the true café culture of France, then you must look for the modest and humble establishments.
The café culture of the country is really a culture; it is not just the ritual of choosing from the menu and uncovering a sugar cube. It also involves an intellectual trigger.
The French cafés are not just for having a cup of coffee. But students and businesspeople sit at cafés as they go about their normal activities, such as scribbling intently in their notebooks. Some establishments, such as the Café de Flora also host book readings, which are lovely events for book lovers. A trend for philosophy cafés started off some years ago.
If you want a thrill of history, then you can visit cafés, such as La Closerie des Lilas, where you can rest your back on seats – that were once the favourites of Apollinaire and Baudelaire – while indulging in a pricey and luxuriant drink.
Café culture involves observing people in your surroundings. What better reason is there to loiter in a café while enjoying your coffee and pastries?
Shopping in the streets
You will certainly regret the tempting taverns all around you when you tour through the covered markets and street markets of France. The variety of olives, free-range poultry, seafood, and other produce beg you to purchase them, gather them in a basket, and take home to have a great cooking experience; but, as tempting as that is, you can just feast your eyes by looking at them.
Then there are the flea markets that rent out space to individual vendors who sell various items, such as old clothes, farm fresh produce, and local plants. There are also vendors who sell snacks and other food items. The vendors range from people who set up for the first time just to sell off some unwanted household objects to people who stock up with goods to sell in the flea market. The flea market is vibrant with variety, and a tour through it is an enjoyable experience as you will get acquainted with the local life.
Brasseries and Bistros
France is home to a vast variety of restaurants; therefore, making the choice of where to go is in itself a treat. Although you would like to keep costs down, you must at least once luxuriate in an extravagant meal at a place with excellent haute-cuisine. However, you do not need to immerse yourself in Alain Ducasse’s white truffles; a visit to one of the neighbourhood bistros will present you with the most delicious food.
History is proof that the first fast food of the world was served in bistros. After Napoleon fell, Paris was occupied by Russian soldiers who used to say ‘bistro’ – which in Russian means quickly – when placing their order.
You will be able to find delicious treats of the traditional cuisine, such as grandma’s lamb served with beans. As people have become more fashionable and style conscious, so have the bistros. And today, you will find that many bistros are decorated by interior designers, and packed with trendy folks. If luck is on your side, your food will taste and look as vibrant as the people who visit the bistros.
Waiters wearing white aprons bustle in the brasseries, which remain the same as they were. And the hearty food (mostly Alsation, such as dishes based on pork, sauerkraut, and beer) abound everywhere. If you want a true taste of the French life, then this is the place for you.